Entebbe-Kalangala Vessel, MV Kalangala, Halts Services Temporarily for Repairs

entebbe kalangala vessel mv kalangala halts services temporarily for repairs
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MV Kalangala, the primary public passenger and cargo vessel servicing the Entebbe-Kalangala route, has temporarily suspended its operations due to a minor mechanical fault. Managed by the National Oil Distributors Limited (NODL), the vessel is undergoing repairs at Nakiwogo pier, with an expected return to normal operations within two days, according to Mr. Sadala Musoke, the Chief Executive Officer of NODL.

The mechanical issue, described as minor by Mr. Musoke, specifically involves repairs to the stern ramp locks. Marine engineers are diligently addressing the problem, aiming to complete the necessary fixes by Thursday or Friday, as stated by Mr. Musoke during a phone interview on Tuesday.

MV Kalangala, which operates daily throughout the year, takes a break only for its annual mandatory surveying at the Port Bell-Luzira dry docking pier. This periodic inspection exposes the vessel to potential mechanical failures.

During the temporary suspension of MV Kalangala’s services, an alternative vessel, MV NODL Victoria, is providing transportation along the same route at a cost of Shs35,000 per passenger. However, it’s worth noting that the fares for MV NODL Victoria are higher compared to MV Kalangala’s charges, which has three classes with VIP, first class, and ordinary class passengers paying Shs 20,000, Shs 14,000, and Shs 10,000, respectively.

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It is important to mention that MV NODL Victoria does not accommodate vehicles, requiring passengers with cars to travel 170 kilometers by road via Masaka and utilize MV Ssese and MV Pearl, which operate on the Bukakkata-Bugoma route.

Ms. Eva Kwesiga, the Kalangala Resident District Commissioner (RDC), expressed the view that the government should consider procuring a new vessel, emphasizing the perceived aging of MV Kalangala. She remarked, “Based on the reports we get from workers on the ship, we need a new one. We pray that the government gets funds and sorts out this problem once and for all.”

MV Kalangala’s temporary suspension aligns with a similar pause in operations by MV Vanessa, a private passenger vessel on the Kasenyi-Bukasa route. MV Vanessa took a two-week break last week for its annual mandatory docking inspection.

Launched in 2005 as a fulfillment of a presidential pledge to serve islanders, MV Kalangala underwent its last annual mandatory docking inspection in February and is scheduled for another inspection early next year.

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